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Feb 222013
 

After the surprised FA Cup fifth round loss to Blackburn, a loss which heightened Arsenal’s chances of finishing the season empty-handed and extending further the trophy drought to 8 seasons, fans of the North London side were further irked and that reaction was understandable. The media capitalized on the unfortunate incident to throw up the Wenger must go tirade and the candidate touted to replace the Frenchman is Everton’s current boss David Moyes.

Metro claims the Gunners have set their sights on the Toffees chief, with the pressure mounting on Wenger following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup fifth round.

Behind Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, David Moyes is the third longest serving manager in the Pemier League but what does he have to show for his longevity? While Sir Alex has won 37 trophies ( UEFA Champions League, Premier league, FA Cup, Capital One Cup and Community Shield all inclusive), Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has won 11 trophies (Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield), Toffees’ boss David Moyes is yet to win a single silverware in his over 10 years reign at the blue half of Merseyside.

The unrest at Arsenal is stemmed from the fact that Arsenal have not won a single trophy in 7 seasons, this situation has made pundits to label Wenger as the culprit owing to his reluctance to splash the cash in the transfer market and the continuous sale of the club’s top players to rivals.

Some critics have also accused Wenger of lacking ambition, an infection they say he shares with the board and has passed on to the players. Wenger is famous for rating a place in the top 4 and qualification for UEFA Champions League high and above some cup competitions (FA Cup and Carling Cup).

If the rumours are true and indeed the board is considering the seemingly ‘impossible’ which is to fire the Golden hen that has been laying the golden eggs, Arsene Wenger, is David Moyes the best candidate to replace the shrewd Frenchman? On this premise, it would be noteworthy to consider the merits and demerits of hiring the Scotsman.

One thing is certain, any manager that succeeds Wenger would be expected to deliver a trophy instantly. If Wenger is under immense pressure, the one main reason why he is, is because of the absence of trophies in as many years. Hence, any manager coming in must be ready to instantly deliver one trophy at least. If the manager coming in is in the class of Guardiola, Mourinho or Ancelotti, it is understandable because they have track record of trophies and would be expected to weave the magic wand at the Emirates but to expect that from a manager of Moyes’ record, would be expecting immaculate white from a swine. Despite completing a decade at Goodison park, Moyes is yet to win a single trophy. His closest to winning silverware was in the 2009 FA Cup final when the Toffees lost to Chelsea 2-1. I know Everton isn’t a big side like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, hence, I don’t expect them to compete for the Premier League but others certainly, other lesser cup competitions aren’t beyond them. If Portsmouth and Tottenham have won the FA Cup and Carling Cup in recent seasons, I don’t see why Everton under the Moyes shouldn’t have. This season, Swansea are through to the Capital One Cup final and facing Bradford, the Swans are the huge favourites to lift the trophy, meaning a team that just made their entry into the Premier League last season is about winning a silverware and yet Moyes who has a decade of Premier League management under his belt can’t muster one.

In the event of his appointment, how would he motivate the players, what dream would he sell to them? How can he convince the players Arsenal can win trophies under him when Everton never did in 11 seasons?

On the issue of spending, can Arsenal be different under Moyes? Well, unlike Wenger, Moyes spends money. Pundits have accused Wenger of been pinchy but the real questions have not been asked. Is there really cash available that Wenger has refused to splash? Everton doesn’t have much cash and Moyes is forced to operate on shoestring budget the same fate bedeviling Wenger at Arsenal and with the current board in place, I doubt if the Scotsman would have huge funds available to him to play with in the market. If the board could deny Wenger who has done so well for the club and holds so much power more than most of his managerial colleagues, I doubt if Moyes would have such funds. One thing that Arsenal might gain from Moyes would be his ability to spot a decent signings where others can’t even see anything. He bought players like Arteta, Felliani, Jelavic from obscurity and turned them into stars much like the Wenger of old that forged the likes of Viera, Toure and Fabregas into world stars.

If Wenger would be replaced, it should be by someone visibly better not a manager who is still resident in his shadows. Moyes’ Everton have found it very hard to get the better of Wenger’s Arsenal. Everton has always been a hard nut to crack for other top sides (Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool) but certainly not Arsenal.

Arsenal vs Everton Head to Head Stats

Date Competition Home vs Away

28-11-12 EPL Everton 1 – 1 Arsenal
21-03-12 EPL Everton 0 – 1 Arsenal
10-12-11 EPL Arsenal 1 – 0 Everton
01-02-11 EPL Arsenal 2 – 1 Everton
14-11-10 EPL Everton 1 – 2 Arsenal
09-01-10 EPL Arsenal 2 – 2 Everton

Chelsea vs Everton Head to Head Stats

Date Competition Home vs Away

30-12-12 EPL Everton 1 – 2 Chelsea
11-02-12 EPL Everton 2 – 0 Chelsea
26-10-11 Carling Cup Everton 1 – 1 Chelsea
15-10-11 EPL Chelsea 3 – 1 Everton
22-05-11 EPL Everton 1 – 0 Chelsea
19-02-11 FA Cup Chelsea 0 – 0 Everton

Manchester Utd vs Everton Head to Head Stats

Date Competition Home vs Away

                  10-02-13 EPL Manchester Utd 2 – 0 Everton
20-08-12 EPL Everton 1 – 0 Manchester Utd
22-04-12 EPL Manchester Utd 4 – 4 Everton
29-10-11 EPL Everton 0 – 1 Manchester Utd
23-04-11 EPL Manchester Utd 1 – 0 Everton
11-09-10 EPL Everton 3 – 3 Manchester Utd

Man City vs Everton Head to Head Stats

Date Competition Home vs Away

01-12-12 EPL Man City 1 – 1 Everton
31-01-12 EPL Everton 1 – 0 Man City
24-09-11 EPL Man City 2 – 0 Everton
07-05-11 EPL Everton 2 – 1 Man City
20-12-10 EPL Man City 1 – 2 Everton
24-03-10 EPL Man City 0 – 2 Everton

In terms of league finish, Wenger might just have won the league thrice but has never finished outside the top 4 in his 16 years spell at the club while Moyes in his 10 years spell at Goodison Park, he has never finished third. He has only finished 4th once. Below are his league finish at Everton.

2001-02: 15th
2002-03: 7th
2003-04: 17th
2004-05: 4th (Qualification for UEFA Champions League)
2005-06: 11th
2006-07: 6th (Qualification for UEFA Cup)
2007-08: 5th (Qualification for UEFA Cup)
2008-09: 5th (Qualification for UEFA Europa League)
2009-10: 8th
2010-11: 7th
2011-12: 7th

The Argument in favour of Moyes could be that the Scotsman doesn’t have superstars to manage at Everton but I stand to debunk that claim. If the players at Everton are poor, then, those at the Emirates are horrible. I know the Toffees are not stars but they are very good players. Can Felliani, Jelavic, Jagielka, Baines be labeled average players? I doubt. The aforementioned players would definitely break into our current squad. They also got a good and reliable keeper in Howard. Moyes has always had a decent team. Always.

Am not against Wenger quitting Arsenal but am of the opinion that the Frenchman’s replacement shouldn’t be Moyes who represents a downgrade to him. Wenger at his worst has finished 4th and trophyless, Moyes at his best has finished 4th and also trophyless. Arsenal need someone with a better record. Do I have suggestions? I would have loved to see Guardiola but the Spaniard has since teemed up with Bayern which makes replacing Wenger a more dire proposition. Instead of calling for Wenger’s head maybe a cry for the return of Dein to the club in a working capacity could help brighten the Gunners’ fading glory.

If Wenger would be replaced, it should be by someone visibly better not a manager who is still resident in his shadows. Moyes’ Everton have found it very hard to get the better of Wenger’s Arsenal. Everton has always been a hard nut to crack for other top sides (Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool) but certainly not Arsenal.

Written By Kolade Omotosho (166)






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